Johansson's first leading role was as Amanda, the younger sister of a pregnant teenager who runs away from her foster home in Manny & Lo (1996) alongside Aleksa Palladino and her brother, Hunter.Her performance received positive reviews: one written for the San Francisco Chronicle noted, "[the film] grows on you, largely because of the charm of ...
Johansson was credited with "sensitivity and talent [that] belie her age" by an Austin Chronicle critic, and won a Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.
Scarlett Johansson," while critic Mick La Salle, writing for the same paper, commented on her "peaceful aura", and believed, "If she can get through puberty with that aura undisturbed, she could become an important actress." The drama film, based on the 1995 novel of the same name by Nicholas Evans, tells the story of a talented trainer with a gift for understanding horses, who is hired to help an injured teenager played by Johansson.
The actress received an "introducing" credit on this film, although it was her seventh role.
She was the highest-grossing actress of 2016, and is also, as of May 2017, the highest-grossing actress of all time in North America in nominal dollar terms.
As a public figure, Johansson is considered a Hollywood sex symbol.